Don’t Talk to Strangers Unless You Plan on Sharing Your Mac and Cheese (Recipe)

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Of course I knew that there was going to be a piece on me and Feastly in the Wall Street Journal.  I didn’t realize that the picture that I sent in was going to be turned into a dot drawing (bad-ass).  I guess this means I am big time.  I didn’t know that when I woke up this morning, I would find this nice little piece where I was referred to as Ms. Lichaa!

Let’s be honest, the best part about this article was learning all the mac and cheese styles I make and hearing about how joyful moments play into every important dinner party.

The basic takeaways from today’s WSJ article is that everyone loves macaroni in cheese, turning my head into a dot drawing still doesn’t make me look good in pictures, and it is best to focus on the best parts of your day over dinner because no one wants to hear about how crappy your day was.

But back to the important stuff: macaroni and cheese.

Here is my signature macaroni and cheese, so remember:  make macaroni and cheese and share your joyful moments.

Garlic crusted macaroni and cheese

mac and cheese

1 lb of cooked pasta

 Cheese Sauce:

5 Tablespoons of butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 Tablespoons of flour

1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard

5 cups of milk

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1 ½ cups of smoked Gouda

 

Crumb topping:

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 clove of garlic

¾ cup of panko bread crumbs

¼ cup of shredded parmesan cheese

 

Secret Topping:

4 oz of goat cheese

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

 

Put the pound of pasta in a 9X 13 glass baking dish and then make the cheese sauce.

 

Cheese Sauce:

In a medium pot melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the garlic for about a minute and then add the flour.   Whisk the flour and butter constantly until the flour is a smooth thick paste about three minutes.  Once the paste is smooth, add the Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, salt, and milk and continue to whisk until the milk has thickened slightly.   Turn the heat to low and add the cheese in three batches, whisking after each addition and making sure that the cheese is melted after each addition.  The sauce should have the consistency of maple syrup but if it seems to thin, add a small amount of milk.  Pour this sauce evenly over the pasta noodles. 

 

In a separate heavy pan melt the butter over medium heat and add the panko crumbs and garlic and stir constantly to prevent burning.  After about three minutes, remove from the heat and mix with the parmesan cheese.  Set aside.

 

And now it is time for the secret topping.   Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the pasta and then top with bread crumb mixture. 

 

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.  The breadcrumbs should be a golden brown and the sauce should be bubbling.

This is what I wish the dot drawing really should have looked like:

 

 grace eating

 

 

 

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